By Kenneth Jukpor
As part of efforts to ensure Lagos Ports remain operational in line with the directive by President Mohammadu Buhari, the management of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) visited Five-Star Logistics (FSL) to ensure optimal operations despite the lockdown.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello led the delegation even as he pointed out that, Nigeria, like other countries, couldn’t afford to close the seaports.
“Nigerian seaports remain open to allow cargo flow, particularly pharmaceutical products, industrial raw materials, hospital equipment and petroleum cargoes, among others,” Bello said.
The NSC boss commended the terminal for the compliance measures put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, noting the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the use of everyone on the premises as the terminal remained operational during the lockdown.
He stated that Shippers’ Council is working tirelessly to ensure that port operations and seamless movement of cargo delivery is achieved despite lockdown in Lagos State.
Meanwhile, the General Manager of FSL, Mr. Wolfgang Schneider, informed the Shippers’ Council management that only essential members of staff come to work.
He, however, lamented that operations at the terminal has been crippled by the non-operation if banks around the Tin Can Port environs, admonishing the NSC leadership to get the banks to comply to enable seamless port operations.
He further stated that the terminal had over 6000 vehicles ready for delivery during the Easter Public holiday, positing that the development led to the challenge of limited space for storage in the terminal.
The terminal operator also appealed to NSC to intervene in the matter of barge operations by ensuring that they continue as barge operations have enhanced cargo evacuation and return of empty containers.
Since the lockdown, the NSC management has contacted the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Terminal Operators, CRFFN and the Presidential Task Team on restoration of order on Apapa roads to collaborate over the Easter weekend to enable freight forwarders take delivery of cargoes.
Terminals will be open to any freight forwarder who has completed his/her paperwork to remove their cargoes from the ports as the terminals and officers of the Nigerian Customs Service will be on ground working to facilitate movement of cargoes out of the ports from April 10 to April 13, as part of efforts to reduce congestion on the seaside and the terminals.
Freight forwarders have been encouraged to take advantage of this opening to take delivery of their cargoes.